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As one of the most practical kits in Makeblock platform, XY Plotter functions as a drawing robot in its initial form and a laser engraver after adding an add-on pack. Makeblock XY Plotter has been highly acclaimed in various exhibitions, such as Maker Faire. However, the size of XY means it's not a portable machine, especially for people who need to present it during every business trip. Hence we designed this mini XY laser engraver for portability.

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Step 1: Working Principle

The hardware structure of XY Plotter is quite simple, one rectangular frame and linear guide controlled by two stepper motors being the main body. Thru the movement driving by the stepper motors, the laser head is able to locate any point within the working area with high accuracy of 0.1mm.

As for the software, it's composed of 2 parts, including PC client and embedded software. the PC client can be controlled by two software, Benbox and mDraw, both of which are capable of converting a photo to G-code that controls the movement of XY Engraver (those who participated in metalworking practice must be familiar with this). After a photo is converted to G-code, the software will transfer the G-code to the embedded software that will analyze the G-code, then control the position and power of the laser head via the stepper motor, and eventually achieve the goal of engraving.

Step 3: Part List

All parts can be found here: http://www.makeblock.com/

2 HEX Allen Key 1.5mm

1 HEX Allen Key 2.5mm

1 Cross & 2.5mm HEX Screwdriver

1 Double-ended wrench M5+M7

20 Plastic Ring 4*7*2mm

6 Plastic Rivet R4100

16 Plastic Rivet R4060

6 Linkage-024-Blue

6 Timing Pulley18T

1 Flexible coupling 4x4mm

10 Flange Bearing 4x8x3mm

10 Shaft Collar 4mm

2 D Shaft 4x56mm

1 Linear Motion Shaft D4x80mm

2 Micro switch V2.0

4 Pan Head Tapping Screws with Cross Recessed M2.2*9.5mm

2 6P6C RJ25 cable-35cm

2 Bracket-B for Micro switch

4 Foam footpad D12*6

30 Cable ties 1.9*100

5 Rubber band

1 Linear Motion Shaft D4x512mm

4 Linear Motion Shaft D8×312mm-H

3 6P6C RJ25 cable-20cm

1 6P6C RJ25 cable-50cm

1 12V 2A Wall Adapter Power Supply (US standard)

1 USB to Micro USB Cable (1m)

2 RJ25 adapter V2.2

2 Stepper Motor driver V1.0

1 Makeblock Orion V1.0

2 42BYG Stepper Motor

6 Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm

4 Beam 0824-048 Blue

4 Beam 0824-080 Blue

1 Beam 0824-096 Blue

1 Beam 0824-128 Blue

4 Beam 2424-132 Blue

1 Plate 3*6 - Blue

6 Bracket 3*3

5 U Bracket U1 - Blue

1 Stepper Motor bracket B

2 Plate I1 - Blue

1 Battery bracket

1 Laser Engraver Head 500mW

1 DC adapter

1 Power supply plug 3.96-2P

1 blue-violet laser goggles

Step 4:

Assemble the frame

Step 5:

Assemble the linear motion slide & shaft

Step 6:

Install the supporting leg

Step 7:

Assemble the short beam0824 (1)

Step 8:

Assemble the short beam0824 (2)

Step 9:

Install the other set of linear motion slide & shaft

Step 10:

Fix the stepper motor module

Step 11:

Install the U bracket

Step 12:

Assemble the timing pulley

Step 13:

Assemble the long shaft and timing belt.

Step 14:

Fix the timing belt.

Step 15:

Install the other stepper motor module.

Step 16:

Install the fixing plates

Step 17:

Install the timing belt

Step 18:

Install the laser head

Step 19:

Install the micro switch

Step 20:

Install the Orion main board and laser driver

Step 21:

Install the stepper motor driver

Step 22:

Wire up and install the footpad

Step 23:

Done!

<p>Some time ago I built a Laser Engraver with this GearBest Kit.</p><p>Unfortunately I have not found a software acceptable and easy to use, so I wrote my own.</p><p>My software allows to load a picture and send it to the laser engraver quickly and easily.</p><p>My software is written in a generic way for almost all machines with standard GCode firmawre.</p><p>At the moment the software is WORK IN PROGRESS currently, in ALPHA testing.</p><p>As I needed to modulate the laser power (I have a 5500 mW one) I used GRBL firmware version 0.9 (other versions are ON / OFF, 0.9 is PWM)</p><p>Here the Robot Laser Project page : http://www.robot-eyes.com/en/RobotLaser/</p><p>I will update soon the page (for now very rough).</p><p>Please send an email at robotlaser@robot-eyes.com with your opinion, thanks.</p>
How much does cost your assembly ? <br>And how huge is the work space ? (in cm plz)
<p>I bought this model half a year ago and upgraded with a 6W laser diode which works well and which actually allows you to cut some thin leather etc. However the software is a pain as it has nothing to do with AutoCAD or real drawing software and the system has a lot of flaws (limit switches not working etc.) Just take your time and read the makeblock forum and find about other disappointed users and then buy a cheap real lasercutter instead. Posting the assembly instructions here as an instructable 1:1 just does not seem right. </p>
<p>It the makeblock mDrawbot kit says that I can build the XY plotter with my mDraw bot kit with a few extra pieces. Which pieces are those and how can I purchase them? Can I build the mini XY plotter with the mDraw bot kit as well? </p>
<p>In theory, it is possible.But you may need to compare the list of Mini XY and the mDrawbot to get the extra pieces.: ) Thank you for your support~</p>
<p>Would this laser be able to engrave steel or is the power too low for that?</p>
<p>Engraving on metal requires more power and a different frequency of light. He is using a <strong>500mW</strong> (0.5 watt) laser... I have a 35W (<strong>35000 mW</strong>) Epilog laser... it can cut through 1/4 plywood... but it won't even mark or cut aluminum foil. (<em>It will do anodized aluminum</em>.) The only way you can mark metal with a system like this is by bonding a substrate to the surface such as <a href="http://www.thermark.com/" rel="nofollow">THERMARK</a> or similar. I'm not sure if this system has enough power to to that either... they could request a sample and give it a try. </p>
<p>Engraving on metal requires more power and a different frequency of light. He is using a <strong>500mW</strong> (0.5 watt) laser... I have a 35W (<strong>35000 mW</strong>) Epilog laser... it can cut through 1/4 plywood... but it won't even mark or cut aluminum foil. (<em>It will do anodized aluminum</em>.) The only way you can mark metal with a system like this is by bonding a substrate to the surface such as <a href="http://www.thermark.com/" rel="nofollow">THERMARK</a> or similar. I'm not sure if this system has enough power to to that either... they could request a sample and give it a try. </p>
<p>just for wood,paper,cardboard.....</p>
Cool project mate..can this laser engrave with a smooth finish?
<p>It depends on material.</p><p>Here for more information:</p><p><a href="http://www.makeblock.cc/laser-engraver-upgrade-pack-500mw-for-xy-plotter-robot-kit-v2-0/" rel="nofollow">http://www.makeblock.cc/laser-engraver-upgrade-pac...</a></p>
<p>Very expensive, another option might be to buy a cheap 3D-printer from China for about 100-200$ and use those part. Or keep the 3D-printer, buy some cheap aluminum profile from any hardware store, use the 3D-printer to make most of the special parts (motor mounts etc.). You'd still need the linear motion blocks, pretty cheap on Ebay. Then there is the laser, slaughter a blue-ray perhaps? <br>Otherwise it would be great for education purposes if you have the money I guess. But if your like me and like a bit of hacking it's not really an option. </p>
I really like this idea as Iam in need of both 3d printer and engraver could you drop some links to the items you talked about?
<p>The printer project its difficult and need precision in work and this instructable has the two things , Good luck.</p>
Excellent project??
<p>What is the plotting area size?</p>
<p>The size of XY is 620x620mm, the plotting area is 310x390mm. The size of mini one is 400x450mm and plotting area is 130x180mm.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.makeblock.cc/xy-plotter-robot-kit/" rel="nofollow">http://www.makeblock.cc/xy-plotter-robot-kit/ </a> </p><p><br></p><p><a href="http://www.makeblock.cc/laser-engraver-upgrade-pack-500mw-for-xy-plotter-robot-kit-v2-0/" rel="nofollow">http://www.makeblock.cc/laser-engraver-upgrade-pac...</a></p><p><br></p>
<p>How much do the materials cost?</p>
<p>I am sorry to tell you that I don't know the price because we don't have a plan to sell it.</p><p>If you want to know the detail. You can search each price on http://www.makeblock.cc/ Thank you.</p>
<p>Do you have a rough idea of the cost of this unit?</p>
<p>Sorry we don't count it at all because we don't want to sell this kit.</p>
<p>I think its a $299 kit for just the plotter..</p><p>http://www.makeblock.com/index.php?route=product/product&amp;path=0&amp;product_id=6306&amp;status=feat</p>
<p>Would this laser be able to engrave steel or is the power too low for that?</p>
<p>I am sorry our laser is too low for that..*.*</p>
One of the best photo illustration builds I have EVER seen online! At first, I thought, here's a buy our kit Instructable, and then your instructions went and put it all together, part by part, in an organized and logical progression, which anyone with basic build skills could actually LEARN how it all works! An avid builder could easily adapt the dimensions to their own needs/specs, as you've put down a great foundation to base it upon.
<p>Thank you a lot. We just want to share something useful. </p>
<p>Hi,..nice products, How much for that?</p><p>Do you send to chile?</p><p>And the software are included?</p>
<p>Hi, glad you like it. But we don't sell Mini XY kits. Our engineers make it just to prove the possibility of Makeblock platform. If you need this kit. You can buy the XY plotter robot kit from http://www.makeblock.cc/xy-plotter-robot-kit/. The software included and we can send to Chile. : ) Thank you for your support.</p>
<p>I think that this would be good for someone that has no place or tools to &quot;make&quot; the parts - that way they can learn how to build something that is complicated but not suffer from the cut twice and its still too short syndrome. its kinda sad that Makeworks used this forum as a sales add.</p><p>DC</p>
<p>Would it be possible to temporarily mount the laser right next to the nozzle of a 3d printer. It would seem that the only problems would be starting the laser at the correct time, and compensating for the slight centering offset. </p>
<p>Nice instructable. Some of these parts seem to be unavailable on the MakeBlock site, such as the 500mw laser head and a few other basic components. Is this a recent BOM?</p>
<p>The laser, at least, is on the MakeBlock site here: <a href="http://www.makeblock.cc/laser-engraver-upgrade-pack-500mw-for-xy-plotter-robot-kit-v2-0/" rel="nofollow">http://www.makeblock.cc/laser-engraver-upgrade-pac...</a></p>
Double decker laser to engrave on both sides
<p>Por quanto voc&ecirc; me mandaria umas pe&ccedil;as dessas para eu montar aqui no brasil </p><p>me fale que providenciarei para depositar em uma conta sua </p>
<p>try banggood.com ... they have 500mw blue/purple laser... saw a 5000mw blue/purple on ebay too...</p>
Nice project mate...I have a question if I want to engrave my name on my pendrive cover or the skin of the wire can I use this laser?? I want a more permanent method.
could you use a more powerful laser like a 2w laser?
<p>Yes. But higher power means greater risk. Check the safety standards about lasers before you do that.</p>
<p>great loved it</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Makeblock was founded in 2012 as the world's first open-source robot and programing platform. With more than 400 mechanical components, electronic modules, and software ... More »
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